Act 1, Scene 1 How does Shakespeare begin the play with an immediate sense of suspense? What (probably) important exposition is revealed in this scene? How does the reader / audience know this ghost is not a hallucination? What is the political situation in Denmark as the play begins? How does Shakespeare characterize Horatio in the opening scenes? Act 1, Scene 2 Hamlet’s first three lines (I.ii.65, 67, 74) are evasive answers using puns or other wordplay. What does this behavior reveal about his character and his state of mind? How would you describe Claudius’s opening speech (I.ii.1-39) and his reply to Hamlet (I.ii.87-117)? What does his use of imagery and juxtaposition in the first speech reveal about his purpose? What is the nature of his argument in the second?